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Virginia 29, Us 28, Mr. Goodlatte 23, Michigan 22, America 20, Mr. Conyers 17, Fisa 14, California 12, United States 10, The U.s.a. 10, Washington 9, Vietnam 9, U.s. 8, Mr. Sensenbrenner 7, Mr. Nadler 7, Florida 6, Pennsylvania 6, Peter Defazio 6, New York 6, Mr. Holt 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    Live morning call-in program with government  
   officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    May 22, 2014
    7:00 - 10:01am EDT  

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and in about 45 minutes, congressman phil roe on mismanagement at the veterans administration, and then peter defazio on federal transportation and infrastructure spending. >> when i hear allegations of ,isconduct, any misconduct whether staff covering up long wait times or changing the books, i will not stand for it. as commander-in-chief and not as an american. none of us should. if these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and i will not tolerate it, period. host: president obama promising take place will concerning wait times and other issues at veterans affairs
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facilities. the secretary will meet with the appropriations committee. the house passed a bill looking at the ba secretary, giving him more flexibility at ba facilities. -- v.a. facilities. we want to get your reaction in the first 45 minutes. to the actions that took place yesterday and what should be done overall about it. here's your chance to call and give your thoughts. (202) 585-3880 four democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. .ndependents, (202) 585-3882 a special line for veterans to give their thoughts. (202) 585-3883 you can post on our facebook
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page. 50 posts so far. can e-mail us, too. joining us on the phone to give us the latest concerning the announcements yesterday and what happens going forward is leo shane with the military times. he's a congressional reporter for that publication. thanks for joining us. caller: thanks for having me back. host: what has been the reaction on capitol hill to the actions late yesterday?d movement heid not folks on capitol hill. they have been critical of the obama administration's response. they saw this as more of the .ame persuasive words, but not a lot of results from the white house. saidrters of the president this was a good message from the president.
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is to reassure the public he addressing the issues and that folks will be held accountable if problems are found. week, theier this chicago sun-times reported that dick durbin was scheduled to meet with the secretary today. he sitting on the appropriations committee. have you heard about that? v.a. --i have asked the i know the secretary will be on the hill speaking to senator durbin. he has been chatting with some folks in congress this week. onand chuck hagel were up the hill just a couple of days ago. there was talk about other v.a. and dod issues. some concerns about these things came up. they're keeping tabs on and trying to get as much information as they can. host: this is the house taking a
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look at management issues with a affairsled the veterans management accountability act of 2014. could you give our viewers a brief breakdown of this bill? caller: the house passed it last night overwhelmingly. ofwould give the secretary the veterans affairs more authority to make it easier for him to fire senior executives. it only affects 400 employees within the v.a. we are talking about a 30,000 employee department. the bill says, look, this is important. there has not been enough accountability at the management level. that is why we're seeing some of the problems that have surfaced over the last few weeks. easierll would make it for the secretary to step in, fire these folks for any perceived failings or mismanagement.
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look, we have fair employment rules. there's already a lot of methods to punish or discipline employees. we don't need this. so far, the white house and the department of veterans affairs have backed off a bit and say they do have some legal concerns but they appreciate the goals of the house. they will work with and to make sure the language is appropriate and give the secretary the authority he needs. we don't know how it will be in the senate. mixed support over there right now. we will see whether or not it will build momentum. host: when you say mixed reports on the senate side, can you expand on that? anyer: we have not seen public support for this from democrats in the senate. we have not seen recent opposition that has surfaced.
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it is tough to read right now. plenty of issues bouncing around. this is on their docket now and wase is a lot of -- there the overwhelming vote in the house. there is pressure for them to take action as well. host: are these senior management types protected by some type of union? the senior executives association has said, look, there are already provisions that these folks, if they do something wrong, they can be fired. this is unnecessary. we hear it over and over again. not just from outside critics and lawmakers, but from some folks inside, too. it is tough to get fired from federal employment. especially these folks were senior executives, fairly established, have a long career. it's a long path to get somebody
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out if they find egregious mistakes and widespread problems. see.ll even some supporters in the houses they were saying that they doubt this has much of an impact. clearly, it is a power move by the house to say, look, we are concerned that managers are not being held accountable. host: as far as the next couple of weeks concerning the story, what should our viewers be watching out for? caller: there is a handful of reports that should be coming out. one next week from the secretary of veterans affairs. to the white house about his review into the care delay scandal. the white house has appointed one of its staffers to look into the problem and issue some reports back. in august, we will see the full investigative report on exactly what happened in phoenix.
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that report has been expanded to 25 other us oldies. ofwill see a steady stream news on this over the next few months. ofwith each new bit information, there is no revelations, new concerns for veterans and new policies -- new politics on the hill in terms of who should be fired and held accountable. host: has anybody told you that they are thinking that the secretary will eventually be fired? caller: i have been trying to keep a tally of my own. we have seen at least 26 lawmakers call for him to be fired. yesterday was the first time we saw any democrats, two democrats in the house. whether or not that translates into more momentum and pressure remains to be seen. there is sentiment that he has
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lost confidence within some. the american legion is the one calling for his resignation. warseterans of foreign have offered stronger support. as soon as they find whether or not he's getting the fax from all sides, he i has confidence from the president. ane, thank you. the president says he won't stand for it. you can give your comments as well. (202) 585-3880 for democrats. republicans.1 for
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(202) 585-3882 for independents. 3 from veterans. we will hear from a veteran first. ella. caller: good morning. i am a veteran and -- a gulf war veteran. i live in grand central, colorado. i do believe we have one of the best v.a. hospitals here. i have seen that the president says, "i won't stand for it." i hope this does not get muddied up and turn out to be about the administrators. the problem is, veterans need help. they have gone a long time without help.
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the new kids from afghanistan, pakistan, they are dying or being wounded. they deserve full benefits. host: do you mean politically or this becoming a political issue? caller: it seems like -- the president is talking about the veterans. they want better service and are doing better things. leo shane and you have been talking more about what is going to happen to the administration. are they going to get fired. the v.a. has been the same for 40 years. i don't see where the president
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has any blame here. let's go tonight from tennessee. independent line. caller: let me preface this. the democratic party is a party of slime. the republican party is the party of stupid. how may times has the president said this about the v.a.? how many scandals that he calls phony scandals? just typical of the democratic party as it is now. i may be a non-that. vet.am a vietnam realize --people i d.c. is the district of corruption. i don't care what your party affiliation is. it is at war with the states. said when men have
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power, they are unwilling to really push it. -- the bureau of alcohol and firearms rating raidinglaces -- guitar places. host: cedarville, texas. good morning. caller: the same incident happened to me in texas. reported it to the patient advocate. i explained to them what was going on in my situation. individualsthe looked at each other as though they knew what was going on or something. i was not aware of this issue. it had happened to me before
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this came up, shortly before this came up. host: would you think about the president's actions on it now? .aller: it's a bit too late i don't have much faith in him anyway. i feel like the prior caller. late.oing too much, too responsible, nor is the person over the veterans affairs. host: who should be held responsible? i don't mean responsible in the blame fashion. they are not doing their jobs. host: leo shane talked about members of congress reacting to yesterday's announcement from the president. john mccain is sending out a tweet saying that he is glad he
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finally spoke after weeks of silence. the house floor, david scott from georgia joined the debate yesterday. one who called for the secretary to be fired. we need tot person fire is the secretary of veterans affairs. respect him and we respect his sacrifice for this country and everything else. but the bulk stops at the top. 500-6000 veterans -- 500-6000 veterans are committing suicide every day. 506,000 veterans. the inspector general of the v.a. placed the blame at the foot of the v.a. administration .
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when chairman miller and i went down and visited them, we ask, is there any more? no, there has been no more. they told a dam lie. the very next day, it was othered there was an soldier that committed suicide and they covered it up. it's a pattern that is been going on ever since he has been the chairman there. host: he's all comments before the senate. you saw the comments before the senate. four democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. (202) 585-3882 for independents. 3.terans, (202) 585-388
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you can send an e-mail. we talked a little bit about that v.a. bill that passed the house yesterday. firingring administrators who are not performing. on the senate side, there is debate going on whether or not that will take us. a senator weighing in hoyer saying that i opposed hr 41 because it opens the door to of undoingopes careful civil-service protections. anita on our independent line. new york. the morning. theer: i watched one of programs you had and i saw the questionsman asking end i thought the congressm were very disrespectful. is there something wrong at the
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v.a.? i'm sure. this man has given the country 30 years of his life serving you and i can't understand how you could treat a man like that. our military deserve respect and that is from the top down. includes shinseki. is there something wrong in our government? fix it. if there is something wrong at the v.a., i'm sure it was the boys. they're incompetent, they should be fired like anybody else. there is a lot of competent people out there looking for jobs. host: that firing would extend to the secretary himself? caller: if he is incompetent, yes. but i doubt anybody who could serve for 30 years is incompetent. ast: washington times with follow-up story looking at the issues at veterans affairs,
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talking about spending. the report shows $85 million spent without approval. the veterans affairs inspector general's office reported that during fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the v.a. made about 15,000 special on authorized transactions because of or information, insufficient verification of cardholder war limitations and insufficient training. the accounts for five percent of total $120 billion. -- $1.8 billion. i am a 100% disabled veteran. i came back and applied for
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civil-service before i left active duty and was denied and hold i had to come back. they would place me in another position. my medical facility refused to treat me properly. they messed up my medication. i can't work, therefore we are firing you. how do we fix that? every veteran deserves a single case manager for all v.a. services and benefits for their lifetime. have tried talking on the phone to the v.a. mye taken $150,000 out of civil-service funds. i know another $50,000 to the oh another $50,000.
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every time you call, they say, that is what the v.a. rule says. host: what you think about the president's handling of the situation? caller: he is our commander-in-chief. i respect him. allow the secretary to stay because, two years from now, we will have another commander-in-chief. host: detroit, michigan. independent line. caller: good morning fellow patriots and happy memorial day to our veterans. is that most of the trouble is in red states. we say we claim to be supporting our troops. problem in the a red states about supporting our troops. this did not happen overnight. this was an ongoing -- i used to hear about stories in the
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and 1980's about how these hospitals were not taking care of the veterans coming back from vietnam. the only way to solve this problem is to put competent people in to help our veterans. that is all the problem is. do we need to crack down on people atmpetent veterans hospitals. let gohould the people -- should that include the secretary himself? caller: there should be disciplinary actions. if you have too many complaints and the person is still working there, that is a problem. i'm sure some of these people have complaints on them and they are still working. that is a problem. if they can't do their job, get rid of them. that is the only problem we have is incompetence in the workplace. host: from twitter, "the v.a.
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problem is like the public school problem. vouchers to buy medical care from dr. or hospital of their choice. ." is a story from susan davis in usa today saying that elijah cummings of maryland will act as the ranking member. the committee spearheaded a -- spearheaded contentious benghazi inquiries. nancy pelosi spoke yesterday concerning the selection of the five and why they were chosen. past two weeks, we
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have engaged in discussion with speaker boehner on the shape and standards of the select committee. we hope for a level of fairness and transparency and balance. especially considering the subject matter. we were not able to reach any agreement. republican, the approach does not prevent the repeated abuses committed by chairman issa in any meaningful way. that is all the more reason for democrats to participate in the committee. to be there to fight for fair hearing and process. to try to bring some openness and transparency to what is going on. what is the purpose of this investigation? what is the timetable or the milestones? what are they hoping to achieve? i could have argued this either way.
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i do think it is important for the american people to have the doneit of these questions in a fair and open and balanced way. that would not be possible leaving it to the republicans. host: if you go to the front page of the washington times, a audit of the v.a. crisis. according to the documents, the v.a. inspector general told obama up three audits dating back to 2005 that revealed significant problems with wait times in scheduling. one audit showed an instance in
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which the department reported 29 -- conny from georgia. democrats line. thanks for waiting. caller: good morning. v.a. withlt with the my elderly father who passed away in 2004. like a mouseu were in a maze. doctor and if you were admitted, you saw another doctor. part of the problem at that particular time was of that, we had doctors that you literally cannot understand. did not speak english very well. when you were dealing with an elderly patient, it is very .ifficult third i even went
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to a psycho valuation of my father and the doctor talked to me. i don't know how you can get any sense of what is going on talking to a child of a parent who is going through these things. -- a psych evaluation. you have to understand that this -- thisresident obama's has not just happen. my father passed away in 2004. before that, well into the 1970's, this has been going on. this is not a democratic president problem. this is a congressional problem. it is a republican and democratic problem. nobody should be pointing a
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finger solely as this man who is president today. "we get what we pay for. therefore we can't get the care that veterans need." highlighting the things they see good about the v.a. we made clear in recent testimony, studies have shown that the v.a. system which serves almost 6.5 million veterans annually as a whole performs the rest of the health care system. give the v.a. customer a higher satisfaction rating. the problems have to be kept in context. thomas from ohio. on our veterans line. the morning. he is a democrat. -- good morning.
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caller: the morning. thank you for c-span. the veterans here and in columbus, the problem is, we don't have enough doctors. . have prostate cancer missions ining 1958. i had prostate cancer and they cured me. , had to wait for some things but there is a protocol when you call up. you have an 800 number and you call emergency. host: when you hear about the stories at the facilities about delays and concerns over that, what goes through your mind and what should be done about it? caller: it's not about president they don't have enough
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doctors. they need to have more funding and everything to cover it. you can't cover anything if you if you don't have revenue coming in. have revenueed to -- volunteer revenue. invest in america. host: laura from twitter says this. "bureaucracy is big and confiscated. it can be well-managed or efficient." the supreme court has stepped in and halted a planned execution of a man. this is out of kansas city. saying that the decision to stay the death sentence of a man who argued that he would suffer great pain if he were killed by a lethal injection because of rare vascular disease could indicate a growing cautiousness among the justices in the wake of recent executions that when arrived.
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the court did not give a reason for granting the stay. it will be up to the appellate whether tocide the hold a hearing. paul from pittsburgh come -- paul from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. hello. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. navyved 30 years in the and i get my health care through the v.a. system here in pittsburgh. hines facility. my experience has been nothing but positive. appointments are timely, their care is excellent and i have no problem with that.
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that does not excuse what is going on. i remember three years ago when we had a problem at walter reed. deplorable conditions. the secretary of defense went in there and absolutely clean house all the way up to the secretary of the army. he did not wait for an investigation. he did -- he saw the problem and he acted on them. that is what the commander-in-chief needs to do. i would call the secretary in and asked for his resignation. if not, i would fire him. s to beeeds td accountability. i would call the attorney general in and ask them to convene an investigation to determine if there is any criminality in some of these things. we owe this to our veterans. this is a management problem. this is not a money problem. host: president obama during that statement that he gave took a couple of questions.
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>> if the secretary -- as he offered to resign? by surpriseght by these allegations? >> he serves this country because he cares deeply about veterans and he cares deeply about the mission. rick -- if he does not think he can do a good job on this and he thinks he is let our veterans down, i'm sure he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve. at this stage, he is committed to solving the problem. i am going to do everything in my power using the resources of the white house to help that process of getting to the bottom of what happened and fixing
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it. outrage --pressing he criticized the agency and vowed to improve care and address backlogs. it is past time for a more visible personal commitment to right these wrongs as well strong white house support for legislation that whe would make it possible to fire those accused of wrongdoing. california on our independent line. , taking ang calls look of the president's actions yesterday. jim from california. good morning. spent six years in the marine corps. i got out for 4.5 and went back into the army for another 14. i contracted with the army for a year and went to work for the
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government for 11 more until i retired. i have been dealing with the and for medical care disability. is, theave found hardest thing for the veteran to do is get all of his paperwork in a timely manner to submit it to the v.a. for consideration. there needs to be a link between the national archives and the v.a. so that when a veteran goes into sign up -- in to sign up for his benefits that the v.a. can automatically draw this veterans records in from the various locations they are stored at where the branches that are still holding them. so that they can make a determination on the claim. the paperwork is part of the problem and i think that could
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be streamlined to improve the system. as far as the turnover and doctors and things like that. it is hard to get some young intern in their working and get him some experience and expect him to stay with the v.a. when he is offered more lucrative positions in the private sector. it is not the generals fall. -- this iswhen i was not a man who quits halfway down or halfway up the hill. he is one of the finest officers i ever saw. if you want to get this place cleaned up, he is the man for the job. the republicans and all of these people screaming for his head are completely at -- i doubt
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half of them have ever been in the military. i know that none of them know him. president obama supported him as commendable. i think the wilkins -- the republicans are taking cheap shots at the president as they do with a lot of things. host: florida. independent line. caller: i think there should be some perspective put in this. aller mentioned walter reed. happend not overnight. our soldiers were living under those conditions. he cleaned it up, but it did not happen overnight. withdent obama is dealing issues that he inherited from the bush administration. the system has been flooded with so many of our pets coming back from iraq and afghanistan. -- vets coming back from iraq in afghanistan.
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i remember articles were soldiers were being redeployed multiple times, even with head injuries. they were not being cared for. the ptsd cases were not being treated. this was all happening under bush's watch. , they we invaded iraq showed a clip of where he was being questioned by congress and they asked, how many troops will be needed once we get into iraq? he was honest. he said a couple hundred thousand. he was demonized right after that. he was right. host: a story from the associated press taking a look at the boston marathon bombings. talking about the physical makeup of the bombs themselves. usedombing suspect sophisticated bombs with fuse is made from christmas lights and remote-controlled detonators
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made from model car parts. one statement made to the faa agents after being captured -- -- a note made it imperative to note that there was a continuing terror threat. prosecutors said the brothers used fine black powder from firecrackers as fuel for the bombs. investigators worried if they had help. billy from miami, florida. independent line. a veteran. good morning. caller: the need to be some insight into what happened to me. i was told i was going to have foot surgery on may 12. you go to the v.a. and they send you on a pre-checklist. me that a va hospital
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in a city that is known for its elderly and retired did not have any walkers. i said, ok, fine. they said they would order it that day. because i questioned them, their attitude was very harsh. . had the operation on the 19th it completely debilitated me. i am asking for the walker and they are going, it is not here yet. i called the patient advocate on wednesday the 21st and i was told that it was not even over ordered yet. i should get it by wednesday of next week. this is just typical of the things that i have seen. if you were a gay military veteran, forget it. psychology does not want to see you. the professional staff and the doctors are outstanding. host: tony up next.
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florida on our democrats line. the morning. -- good morning. caller: good morning. -- i get onears disability and they take me off and took my social security out of my disability check to pay for my medicine. if they get rid of the people in the office who stand there and , we could but talk get free medicine. they took my pension check. thank you. host: action seki is the man for the job, what went wrong? shinseki is the man for the job, what went wrong?"
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what's next for the federal reserve when it comes to interest rates. writingpaul davidson in that the fed is weighing several tools to raise interest rates and the broader economy. including increasing the interest in central bank payments. fed officials are also is pos.ng reverse re agreedmeeting, the fed to further cut its multi-purchases of treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. recently told congress that she expects the purchases to be halted sometime in the fall. from tulsa, oklahoma on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. please give me time. let me say this. i live right off of georgia
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avenue across from walter reed and i saw this veterans going back across to their hotel. it was horrible. it that is why i tried to stay away from the v.a. i moved back here to oklahoma and i stayed away from the v.a. because i heard -- i had seen all of these were stories. on 41stoklahoma come street, when i did go there, the people could not have been better for me. the only problem i had here is transportation. i have called and they will not return calls. you call and they will not return calls back. other than that -- host: tell us about your thoughts on what president obama is doing. it is george bush -- it is the congress.
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they send these men and women to these wars -- these foolish wars. the man at the v.a. is doing the best that he can. host: comments from the american legion. the president's decision to keep the secretary at his post is an unfortunate one. the ba has been aware for some time -- the v.a. has been aware for some time that an appropriate scheduling procedures are widespread among its medical facilities. in my mental protection agency set to release new rules looking at carbon emissions. -- the environmental protection agency. productione for the has not been finalized. epa plan assembles proposals made by the natural resources defense council, which would allow states and companies to employ a variety of measures
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including new energy efficiency projects to meet the carbon reduction target. the proposed rule will be announced june 2. ofrepresents the centerpiece president obama's climate action plan. to the pages of the washington times, it takes a look at regulations and what it does for energy producing companies. the story by jonathan of the associated press saying that new were and tighter pollution rules and government subsidies in wind and solar panel will lead to closings of dozens of coal burning plants across 20 states over the next three years. by 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13%.
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a forecast that is not -- that does not include the climate change. roe oft guest, phil tennessee. embers of the committee will have discussion -- have a discussion about the us of a and how to move forward. all of that as "washington journal" continues after this. ♪ >> when i am trying to say is that fraud kills. it is nonpartisan fraud. we have to do something about it. we don't have unlimited budgets.
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money gets wasted on a building that is never going to be used. money that could have been used to help another afghan or people here in the united states. you see this again and again. i am very proud to work for this administration. i think it's important that people realize i was appointed by the president. inspector general's are independent. important that the people see that the government does care. there are a lot of people -- people at the pentagon who care about wasting money. on his role as inspector general. sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. book includesw christopher hitchens talking about his lifestyle.
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>> i always knew there was a risk. , decided to take it because whether it is a delusion or not, i don't think it is. concentration. it stopped me from being bored and stopped of the people from being boring. it would keep me awake and allow me to prolong conversation. if i was asked if i would do it again, the answer is probably yes. i would have quit earlier. nice for my children to hear. it sounds a responsible. i said, yeah, i would do it again -- it would be hypocritical for me to say no. i decided i will wager on this.
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i can't make it come out any other way. and othere interview featured conversations from our book notes and q&a programs in c-span sundays at eight. >> "washington journal" continues. phil roe.ing us now, welcome, sir. what did you think about the president's actions concerning the v.a. yesterday? guest: they had to be taken cared we have a situation where we are treating 8 million veterans in this country. -- a lot oftem veterans depend on that for their health care. it's their only access to health care depending on where they live. the president -- i thought he was delayed in doing it. we have been pushing our committee for these answers for months. finally, it just came when the new story broke about what
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happened in arizona. host: your pushing answers for months -- guest: we have a small .ommittee -- subcommittee the staff is small. we don't have unlimited to do these things. i've been in the congress for 4.5 years. we investigated a problem with radiation and theories things during the time that did not make the national news very much. this one did because it involved the possibility of loss of life. we will find out that the president did what he had to do. host: did you get direct answers? guest: it is difficult to get direct answers from the v.a. it's a large, bureaucratic system. there are 152 medical centers across the country. centersunity outpatient
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which have served the veterans very well. numerous others -- you have the benefits side. earlier in the show, one of the allers talk about not having enough resources. i have asked the secretary every year when he brings a budget into our committee, do you have the resources to carry out your mission? his answer has always been, yes i do. he has been very generous -- congress has been very generous. i know there is an independent line. the one committee i said on is totally nonpartisan. it is about taking care of veterans. host: there is a chart in investors business daily. the number of veterans under the care of the ba dropping since 2000. capitals spending
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increases. is this a volume problem? guest: that is veterans now alive. we are spending more money on each veteran than we did 10 years ago by a lot. about thed you think volume increase from iraq and afghanistan? west: 77% of the veterans -- that iscare of not it. host: should the secretary have been fired? guest: i like him. i have tremendous respect. if you earned four stars in the met army -- the people i have highly praised the men. having said that, this is happening under his watch. should goink we
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out and say, you need to be fired now. we need to get fo the facts. the inspector general will do a willjob and our committee parallel that investigation. i can assure you, it won't be a single lens. host: you expect hearings and looking into it yourself? guest: no doubt about it. host: what do you think about the move? guest: i don't have any problem with the administration having some eyes and ears. if i were the president, i would want somebody there. he has a person, a secretary that should be able to report directly to him. at the secretary has not done his job, he should go. if that has happened. we don't know that it has or has not. i'm glad we have investigated because at 26 centers out there,
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may not know exactly what has happened. this is what is alleged to have happened. a veteran would come in and ask for an appointment and they would take you and enter your information into a computer. instead of hitting the enter button, they would see you in another area and entered into another system that was not logged in the general system. .ow you have two veterans one that has a long list of people and one list that gets you in within two weeks. your name is moved over to this list. if that happened, heads should roll. are rewardede based on meeting the metrics that the v.a. sets up. if they get a bonus and the person out there gets a $9,000 bonus. die and somebody got a bonus --
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host: the house asking a bill that would give the secretary more flexible the on who to fire. the supported -- do you support it? guest: absolutely. almost everybody supported it. if you were the ceo, if you have somebody in there, you need to have the power to get rid of those people if they are not doing their job. that is what you do in the private sector. you go ahead and remove that person and put somebody in who can do the job. we give the secretary some extra power. host: some people concerned about the bill itself. guest: i don't know what they are concerned -- i have no concern. i want him to be able to do his job and not hide behind a bureaucracy. the v.a. is a huge system. over 320,000 police. host: what do you think about the voting in the senate? guest: they should pass in the
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senate. why wouldn't you want to give him the power? if you want to ask questions about the v.a., (202) 585-3880 for democrats. (202) 585-3881 for republicans. (202) 585-3882 for independents. (202) 585-3883 for veterans. caller: i appreciate why the gentleman is saying -- even -- my i am a democrat husband is a veteran from the vietnam era. when you schedule your andintments, you get -- this has been going on for some time. it most doctors would not see him within a month's time.
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he would get glasses and it would be eight months before he would get hise eye exam and it would be eight months before he would get his glasses. they outsourced it. still -- he still cannot see out of these classes. to wait two months before they will set up an eye exam for him. then it's almost a year before he ever gets glasses. something has to be done. myfar as medical records, husband can't get them. first of all, thank your husband for his service. i served in 1973 and 74.
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yourtainly appreciate service. i share your frustration. the ba has the ability to outsource that into the private community. -- the v.a. has the ability to outsource that into the private community. some i've problems myself and you are absolutely correct. you have to get it in a timely fashion to find out. one of the things we will push them to do is allow veterans like your husband to be able to go ahead and if you can't provide glasses and eight months, send a veteran out to the private optician and let him get the glasses in about a week. host: miami, florida up next. public line. -- republican line. caller: my husband is a vietnam veteran with a disability. we're are retired from the federal government. what many people do not
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understand is, people who work for the v.a., just like any other agency in the government, it does not matter who is the president or who is the head of the agency, the people underneath are the ones that are the problem. every room are people saying that we are getting a new head of the agency. maybe things will change. things never change. those people do whatever they want because they know nothing is going to happen. veteran.d is a vietnam right now, we found out he has a heart condition. even though it was found out at the v.a., we already made arrangements for him to see a cardiologist outside of the v.a. we are able to have issuance must medicare -- plus medicare.
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guest: thank your husband for his service in vietnam. i will be going to vietnam in a week for a visit. i'm looking forward to that. many of us have demons we need to flush. we should be about serving veterans. i agree. we should be about serving veterans. i practiced medicine in tennessee. we have a wonderful medical center about a mile from my front door. i came to washington and one of the passions i had was to serve veterans because i know how our bed again -- veterans were neglected after the vietnam war and we should never do that again. i do not care if you're a democrat, republican, independent, never served, if my jobved this country,
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is to make sure we get the resources for veterans. me, personally, i am a category 8. that means i am earning too much money to go to the v.a.. i have good private health insurance like you do. i can go somewhere else. many veterans cannot do that. i want to be sure deserving veterans get to the front of the line. hear complaints from that the a facility in johnson city for care? .uest: rarely i know many of the veterans that are there because they are neighbors of mine. one of the problems we are going to see in the v.a. is systemic in the country. i am an ob/gyn doctor. findcame harder for me to a family care doctor for my
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patients, and i think the v.a. is having trouble finding primary care physicians like we are in the civilian world. host: a viewer asked about private contractors, saying where private contractors are used private employees have direct managerial control. will you go after them? guest: if there is a problem, sure. like me, i would see patients in the v.a. i would see those patients and if you have someone that is misbehaving, doing whatever they are doing, absolutely. host: there is v.a. oversight. guest: yes. host: next call is from often, texas. ken, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call and for your time.
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you answered my first question regarding where you received your health care. term eating your own dog food, which makes products better when you have to use your own products. i wonder if you would support legislation that would require elected representatives to receive their health care through the v.a. system and possibly through that effort improve the v.a.. guest: i waited. hospitalo to our v.a. in johnson city, tennessee, in a heartbeat, and i do not think anyone would be able to more carefully look at it than a physician. i spent 31 years teaching at the medical school and saying private patients. absolutely i would. aroundbviously are v.a. the country doing their job. my position here is to investigate those and find out. that is our job.
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the management job is the secretary's job. theyob is to be sure provide -- we provide the funds they need. you do in things that texas that i like a lot is you have a two-year budget cycle. passes theature bill, and you are done with it except for little tweaking. we are doing that for advanced appropriations for the a. the you had the shutdown v.a. never missed because they're appropriations were advanced. let me give an example why they are important. the fiscal year finishes october 1, september 30. if we had not appropriated the a did not the the know -- the v.a. did not know if they could hire a nurse or a technician. now they do. they know they have the money, they can better staff and it is a better system.
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host: "the washington times" has a front-page story looking at delays, going back to the bush administration. a viewer is asking if this wrongdoing is something new or it has never happened before. guest: it has happened before. i do not know if this particular has happenede list before, but delays have happened. it has been a chronic problem and the reason is remember, there are 22 million veterans, but only 8 million are served health systema. and disabilities. it only serves one-third of all veterans. host: as far as being a medical person, other ways to streamline that? guest: i think there are. any system where you get a top-down system, it does not work as nimbly as my private office did. we could move quickly. as the caller from laura brought
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out, anytime you get into rules, regulations, it is frustrated for me to see how slow it works. it can be done. that is one reason we passed a bill to give the secretary tools. host: does that mean less regulation? guest: if i could be in charge, i would absolutely do that to try to streamline things, and i would also try to put good people in charge of the v.a. medical center and hold them accountable. that is what we do in our medical center at home, hire a ceo, and if the ceo does not do the job, you get a new ceo. host: delaware. go ahead. hello, to her for taking my call. i fored to make it -- q taking my call. i wanted to make a couple of
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comments. if something similar to this would have happened in the private sector, every one of you would be requiring that these people be fired, pensions be taken away, the middle actions be taken against them. it seems like in the government that the majority of people, and i am not saying everybody, but a large number of people have the attitude that they cannot do anything to me. i can do whatever i want, and especially during this administration. there isthere is so -- no oversight for anything. it actually feels to me that this president does not want to engage with anyone unless it is hollywood. guest: there are different management styles. let me tell you what i would do -- if i were the secretary of the v.a., i am a get out and meet people die, i would just , i would just
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show up at a medical center on announced, talk to the patients in their. that is what i did as a physician practicing medicine. i know who i worked for, the patients, in who you should be working for is the veterans. that is with the veterans administration hospital is set up for. i think you have to be accountable, and if the facts come out, people knew what was going on down the food chain, then people have to go. host: represent a row, a viewer asks why is it hard to fire someone in government, but let me change that, why is it hard to fire someone in the v.a.? >> you have union rules -- guest: you have union rules, so the service rules, and some of those are good, because you should not be able to just fire someone because you do not like them. there has to because. cause.e has to be
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there are the layers of protection that have built up over decades. host: the bill in the house, how would that knock down that? guest: it was fairly limited to 450 or so of the top executives. that is who the bill is focused on. host: hampton, virginia. kristin. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. the v.a. i worked at for over 30 years at both the level,l and the national and on the that this end it is about speaking truth for power for people down the food chain and see the things going on. you want to do something about it, but you tell your superior, and they do not want to know because then they have to do something about it. after youto the ig have told your supervisor, then
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the ig starts poking around in your area, and they know it was you, so what happens is the people who really care passionately about the mission of the agency end up suffering retaliation from superiors for speaking up. spoke secretary shinseki and he was in the military, and paid the price for that. he certainly should not be held accountable for this situation because he wants to know, and what is striking to me -- i watched the hearing the other day -- the under secretary for health, he was not telling secretary shinseki what he knew, and that is why his resignation was expected the next day from secretary shinseki. host: thank you,,. guest: first of all, thank you.
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i spent almost a year in virginia. i have fond memories of where you live. thank you for your service to veterans in this country. i think you are right. part of that is the call to the human have talked about, that i have heard about. work ind hope that you a system where your focus is to that ise of veterans, your job. not to take care of your spot and job, but to take care of veterans. that is your mission. that very vision should come from the top, and you should be encouraged. i will tell you, my hat is off to dr. foote, i believe is his name in arizona. host: is there whistleblower protection? guest: there is, but she is right, used to work in the shop, and people talk. host: california. william. go ahead.
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caller: thank you for taking my call. i have been in the v.a. system for 20 years. i have a couple of questions -- first of all, why do we have to pay co-pay for our medications, and your comment on two-week appointments, yes, you get it scheduled within two weeks, however one week before your appointment, they call and reschedule you for another two weeks. this has been going on and on. i had to have a hit replacement -- hip replacement. i started with that last year in june and did not get it until this year in february. what is going on with that? guest: william, thank you for your service. you must be up pretty early in california watching us. i will give you an example from my own local v.a. we do not have enough orthopedic
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people, we do not have enough orthopedic surgeons. william,doctor says you need to have your hip replaced, you could have it done in a month, or three weeks on the private side. the co-pays -- i do not know what your financial situation is, so i cannot answer that for you, but certainly where veterans are able to pay a little more, i do not have a problem with that. myself, personally, has been richly blessed. many veterans have. i think most of us like myself do not pay more so that another veteran who has not been as fortunate can pay a little less. host: mike, wisconsin. he is joining us on our independent line. you are on with congressman phil roe -- representative phil roe. guest: hi, mike. caller: back in the 1970's, i got out of the service, and i , anded for my g.i. bill
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with president reagan it was considered welfare and i could grant.t a pell i know as a representative from a state, you could step in and do something like bob dole did. stockman has been on c-span cents of the trickle-down theory is not working. you, as an is to leader, why are you not immediately calling for the veterans that need help now go directly to a hospital now, and get help? guest: mike, you had a lot of things. first of all, let me just talk about the g.i. bill for a second. i used the g.i. bill when i got out of the army in 1974. it was $300 a month, incredibly healthy -- helpful to me at the time. it was not welfare. it was our taxpayers investing
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in a veterans of that you can better your education, and boy, did the taxpayers, well on our behalf. i have paid bad back many times over. g.i. bill, what a phenomenal benefit that is for veterans. there are millions that have availed themselves. you will benefit. when you get a highly skilled veteran to go out and get a good job, take care of their family, it works. your question about trickle-down, that is an entirely different issue. david stockman, the cbo director under reagan -- that is a different issue that. the g.i. bill is one that i fully support. it helped me, helped millions of veterans post-world war ii. it is a great program. host: could something be done to help veterans under the tri-care program? guest: it can. the idea is how do we pay for
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it, and usa network affordable care act. and co-payscket doubled with the initiation of the affordable care act, so it is not just the v.a. where you are seeing this. host: the house considering the defense authorization bill, with one of the benefits being health care. what you think of the proposals coming out of the committee, rejecting what the dod wants to see? guest: one thing that caused a great deal of controversy was veterans --t 1% for let's say they are 40 when they get out, to the average age of 62, when most people can retire. people realize that. paul ryan and patty murray did a great job with that. that was a mistake. that mistake
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easily. the department of defense is like any other business. they have a budget. they are spending a lot of money on benefits. tri-care at all of that comes out of the dod budget. they are looking at how to control costs and that is what is happening with them. now, the congress can reject those ideas, which we did, and by the way, the idea of the was a dod idea. host: do you support that? guest: no, i did not. i did not support that. host: what about the argument that they will affect modernization and readiness down the role? -- down the road? guest: we made a promise to our veterans. veterans that the are in active duty military, if you spend 20 years, you get x at 20 years that we should keep that promise period. host: a veteran.
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william. go ahead. caller: thank you, representative roe. you are a veteran and a physician, and you had mentioned asking secretary shinseki if there was the need for additional resources, and the reply was no. are you aware of the patient- two-dr. ratio in the v.a., what is it? where you are,on and will be different at each medical center. caller: i understand that. oklahoma, it is pretty high, and we have a lot of people that are good physicians who basically are dealing with numerous amounts of patients, and that is my concern. question,sk him the have you also researched within your database and do you have a database of the immediate needs
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of staffing personnel to the point where you could actually -- if he said no to you, you could come back with data , and since, we do you are a veteran, number one, and a physician, you are aware of the real world scenarios. host: william, we will have to leave it there and let him answer. guest: william, the answer is we rely on the secretary to bring his staffing needs to us. the administrator, the secretary, has to determine based on demand -- just like my medical practice. if i need another doctor, i ,ould not keep up with people we hired someone else, and if the secretary needs to hire more people, we will put that in the budget and look at that positively. since i have been in the congress, i believe the v.a. budget has gone from $100 billion, and this year it is
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$162 billion. it is a huge and race. i did nothing resources the problem. i think management has. host: you said you would expect action out of your committee. what is the next step? guest: i met with the committee toff pair we need to wait get information that before we can act. host: information from home? -- from whom? are lookingg, so we at sometime in the summer. i am hoping that your coverage, the news coverage of this will improve some things. host: representative phil roe of tennessee, thank you. guest: thank you very much. host: coming up, a fund that provides a state money to do state construction is expected to run out of funds this summer. representative at peter defazio -- peter defazio joins us. first, an update on the news.
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u.s. -- associated press reports a drill was failed last summer that simulated the hostile takeover of a missile launch silo because they were unable to speedily gain control of the captured weapon. the previous failure, which the air force called a critical deficiency, was a reason why the waning in montana flunked its broader safety and security inspections. on thene monitoring is schedule today in the u.s. house with members set to pass legislation limiting the national security agency's bulk collection of american phone records. it would codify a proposal president obama made in january, when he said he wanted to end the practice of collecting the to and fro records of nearly every american telephone calls. the measure instructs the phone
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companies to keep the records. at 9:00emates today a.m. eastern time. you can watch the house coverage, gavel-to-gavel, on c-span. the senate meets at 10:00 a.m. eastern and they will vote later on on the confirmation of david aaron for the united states circuit judge. live coverage on c-span two. president travels today and he tourism, discussing steps to make it easier for people from other countries to visit the u.s. and spend money at hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. he will make his announcement during a visit to the baseball hall of fame in cooperstown, new york. c-span is coming that event. and those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> you can now take c-span with you wherever you go with our free c-span radio app for your smartphone or tablet. listen to all three c-span channels were c-span radio anytime, and there is a schedule
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of each of our networks that you can tune in when you want, or play podcasts from signature s,"grams like "after word "the communicators," and "q&a." c-spanover 35 years, brings public affair events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, the things, and conferences, and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage all as a private service of public industry. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought here as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter. "washington journal" continues. us, representative peter defazio, a democrat from oregon.
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good morning. guest: good morning. thank you for having me. host: we are here to talk about the future of the highway trust fund. can you explain what is and some of the concerns people have about its funding? guest: sure. grimfuture right now is absent significant action by congress. the trust fund was first created by dwight david eisenhower. nationalwas to build a highway network to link the country together, and the idea was to pay for it with user fees, not general fund taxes. those who use the system would pay for the system. hence the gas tax. it has not been changed since 1993. today, four dollars a gallon -- the federal government is not your transitild systems, but it is going to exxon mobil and wall street speculators. since we have not adjusted the federally,21 years,
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and construction has become more expensive, and because the growth in miles traveled has leveled off, and because cars have become more efficient, the trust fund is inadequate to meet our needs for the last five years. congress has been transferring money from the general fund to help shore up the highway trust fund. we have 100th outing -- 140,000 bridges that need repair or replacement. backlog in60 billion transit investments across the country, and that is not in beginning to talk about building a new system. so, we're not even keeping up with what we built in the last century. we're not even maintaining it with the current revenues, but saysyan budget passed there will be no more general fund transfers and does not propose any other way to pay for transportation. essentially, the ryan budget
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says we are going to devolve the duty to build a national transportation system to the 50 states and territories assembled, which is something we try before eisenhower, did not work, and our competitors around the world know it is not going to work because they are investing huge amounts of money in a more efficient infrastructure. sometime in july or august the trust fund will be depleted to the point where the cash flow coming in does not equal the cash flow going out, and the government will have to notify the states that it will have to delay reimbursing the states because the money is directed to the states through a formula and they spend the money on the highway system. beyond that, there will be no new obligations for an indefinite period next year, and that means a drop off -- in my state is about $450 million. across the country, you're talking about close to $50
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billion, and if you walk away from $50 billion of investment, you walk away from at least one million jobs. streamo it is a revenue source issue. have there been proposals to change the funding? guest: i have made many. the obama administration pulled the plug five years ago when i chair the subcommittee trying to reauthorize the ability. the chairman was talking about user fee increases, and the was upset. they hate it -- they hated infrastructure. they pulled the plug on the highway transportation bill and revenues. we where at a point -- now are at a point where the obama dentures has propose we will invest in infrastructure, which is good for these people, but withare proposing that
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imaginary money, reform that is not going anywhere, and paul ryan opposed to end federal investment in transportation and infrastructure in the house we are stuck. barbara boxer has proposed a status quo bill in the senate and proposed inflationary increase on the gas tax, so it would hold level, maybe give us more of an increment. it has three more days to go through in the senate, but again, the fund goes flat in july or early-august, and that is when the states will be notified. states are already canceling projects were post-posting them, saying they cannot start a project if it are if they will be reimbursed. host: stimulus money, is that still being used for transportation? guest: it is a sore point. i voted against the so-called stimulus. the house bill had real things in it that would have put people back to work, but instead the
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administration cut a deal with republican senators to get people tax cuts of $12 a year, and that was larry summers plan, and he did not want to invest in infrastructure. i try to get the senate to bring back a bill that would put people back to work and rebuild america. if you are borrowing money against the future, let's build things that lesson to the future. a $12 tax cut today does nothing for the future of america. i lost the debate, we lost the house, and that is the problem. g, defazio,say where are all the jobs, but guess what percentage of the stimulus went into infrastructure? .ost: i would say less than 10% guest: you are sharp. a little over 4%. it worked, but it was nowhere near what we needed to do. untilour guest is with us
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9:00 p.m. to take your questions about infrastructure, highway spending, and related issues. if you want to ask questions -- the numbers john from pennsylvania up first. democrats line. you're on a representative peter defazio. caller:. -- caller: thank you for taking my call. we get taxed on a gallon of gas, registration, and i live here in pennsylvania, and they have not resurfaced roads around here. it is patch on top of patch. where has all that money gone from years of collecting the trillions of dollars to fix our bridges, highways, what, and create new roads? where has all of that money gone if they have not fixed our roads
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and bridges, and now pennsylvania, they want to tax again on a gallon of gas and it would be the highest in the country. our governor here, corbett, wants to hire the tax on the gas, and that is my concern -- where did all the money they have been taking all of these years go? guest: great question. i do not know the specifics of pennsylvania, but 18.3 cents a gallon goes to the government. the pennsylvania would get a an annualion of basis, probably over $1 billion a year. collapseave the bridge in the midwest, i said i wanted to know what is going on with ridges across america, and pennsylvania at that point had the worst conditions of bridges in the country and they had diverted every penny of federal money for bridges into other programs. i think you have a problem there at the state level.
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they are getting federal money. i wish i could tell you exactly what they are doing with it. basis, on a bipartisan with the temporary bill, building in new accountability message -- build in new accountability measures. i would start calling for taxpayer accountability in your state. what the heck are they doing with all of that money? all the things you mentioned, title fees, registration fees, state gas taxes, those are all per views of the states, and some have diverted the money into things other than transportation. host: what is the difference between a state sends in terms of gas tax and how much they received in funding for projects? back: every state gets 93%, because we talking about a federal system. some states get back more than 100% of what they send in because for instance, interstate
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five through oregon is the fourth busiest truck route in america and we have simultaneous failure of all of our bridges because they were built in the 1950's, and we partnered with the fed and raise our own gas tax, so it was a federal/state partnership. we get back a little bit more than one dollar, but -- but that is in recognition that we are at that linkscrossroads canada, the u.s., mexico, and interstate 84 going east. it varies by state. , i have to admit, gets a hugely disproportionate amount of back -- money back at >> because of the -- back. host: because of the size? formerbecause of the chairman. ago, we used to
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get 10 miles a gallon, and now gallon, so why a don't they double the gas prices, forcing everyone to be question thative is my question. --conservative question conservative? . that is my question. guest: there have been some members that have proposed taking the federal gas tax from 18.3 cents to 33.3 cents. itave proposed other ways, includes indexing the gas tax, the barrel tax, which partially would come out of the oil industry, opec, and others that produce oil. there are alternatives to the retail gas tax. if you put on a retail gas tax,
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the own people that pay are the people that drive up to the pump, and the oil companies are not sharing the burden. there's another factor that most people do not know, every time you buy a gallon of gas, and is a memorial day weekend coming up with the traditional run-up in gas prices, a lot of people in my area will be paying four dollars a gallon. according to the head of exxon mobil, an impeccable source, $.75 of that is going to wall street for regulation adopted neck, the clinton commodities future regulation act. it used to be the people that ran trucking companies used especially in the price of oil to hedge bets for their company, and we had to open it up with wall street and they jumped in with all six feet. there is massive speculation, and the head of exxon mobil testified two years ago and said do not blame me, blame wall street, they are taking $.75 a
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gallon off the top for nothing, just for speculating. supposedly,. frank was supposed to bring that in, but those have not been implemented. host: of you are on twitter says where do highways rank versus other industrial nations? pathetic.are i once gave a speech and world.d it as third we get a d here we used to be an a plus. one of my colleagues said it was insulting, and i said we have over 400,000 bridges that need replacement. he said no, it was insulting to third world countries because they are investing in large percentage of their gdp. it is true. zimbabwe -- really, we are at the bottom of the list. our infrastructure overall is
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ranked at 26, putting us competing with albania and places like that, and in terms of percentage of gross the mystic product, -- gross domestic product, we are down to about 100 and the world. it is pathetic. host: janet. maine, independent line. caller: as soon as i was put on hold, you answered my question, but i will be asking you to expand on it. i did not only thing, but i knew that when the financial crisis happened here was a democratic president, and i could not believe they did not do the same -- g fdr did the [indiscernible] caller: i cannot believe they did not do that. my question is would that have
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done as much for the economy? money have gone to the banks? if we had done that, would it have helped everyone, raise the boat, and i wish you could talk more about who did think of that? i thought i was the only one. who did think of that? when i heard you say president obama succumbed to the pressure of three republicans, it brought me back to what i have thought for so long, if we had term limits people would not be so beholden to banks, oil companies, etc. host: thank you, caller. janet, i wish you had been making policy at the white house at the time. we could have put a lot of
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money to work if we spent building things. i could have suggested why don't we use this to rebuild the suspect bridges. it is not just construction. it is engineering, manufacturing, steel, small business suppliers, money and the economy, and you are right, what fdr did was the idea that we will put right the people back to work, put some money in their pockets, they will spend the money at local stores, grocery stores, and elsewhere, and gradually the whole economy will come up. instead of the timothy geithner, folks, andrs-led they are on wall street now, cedar not have to worry about massive walld the street bailout and then they followed it up with these tax cuts, where about 10 times as much money was spent on $12 a
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week tax cut, which most americans did not know they were getting, then was spent on building things, and to chartres. had we spent that money on building things, infrastructure, we could've put a couple of million people to work, we would not be in the economic doldrums we are in today, and we would have a world-class infrastructure, at least in the top 10, not competing with albania 427. host: oklahoma. caller: you're looking sharp, pedro. how you doing, congressman? guest: good. caller: this infrastructure money to build future cities to separate working poor mexicans from non-productive backs. -- blacks. theyld like to know how can get away with this stuff? we have videos on it, but we are hold onto them by
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january but we really do not want to. we want to get it out to the people. what they're talking about doing to the blacks by letting the mexicans take their pace because they get out and vote and blacks are not productive from a geographic say -- would you elaborate? host: we will move on. kenny. maryland. republican line. caller: five. i am a civil engineer, and i have been involved in construction projects all over the country, and. maryland. -- here in maryland, and what i am is is the cost of construction has gone up so much, and part of the reason is because of some of the .egulatory requirements there are regulatory fromrements, you know, storm water management, financial regulations,
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requirements for materials, construction materials, and they are driving up the cost of construction. the justification funds are not keeping up with all of the transportation projects. host: thank you, kenny. guest: well, is right. the cost of construction since we last raise the federal gas tax in 1993 -- instruction costs have gone up dramatically. think about it -- not everything steel,st goes in, labor, concrete, oil, we were paying $1.20 back then, and now we are paying four dollars. he is right. that is why one of the ideas i put forward was to index the income stream to construction cost inflation so that in the future we could at least keep up, but he makes another good point. we do put a lot of regulatory reform in the last two transportation bills that was not fully implemented either by
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the bush administration nor this administration, and i'm continuing to push on this. we want quality products, quality materials, as we can build bridges that could last 100 years now. we have the technology to do it. there are all sorts of techniques. we want to build quality stuff that will last a long time so that we do not have to rebuild it for three or four generations, but sometimes the regulations are absurd. i will give one quick example. you know, we have kind of brought back the streetcar in the pacific northwest, and they were having to go through a full environmental impact statement to put streetcar rails in a paved street. i said really? that we just sort of say that is going to be an environmental benefit to get some people out of their cars, get them on mass transit? put in, in the bill, we some categorical exclusions so that we do not have to do that kind of stuff anymore.
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there is a place for oversight, relation, quality, environmental protection, but we do not need to go too far. host: more fuel and electric cars are emphasized, but does not work against the gas tax? guest: that is why one idea would be to index the gas tax to the fleet fuel economy, and in the future we will have to deal with cars that never visit a gas station. we're not there yet. they are a small percentage of the fleet. by that time, we will probably be able to move to a new system, do away with a gas tax and look at vehicle miles traveled but there are still issues in terms of privacy that have yet to be resolved. host: privacy as you now? guest: do you want the government to know where you are every minute of the day? i do not, and a lot of people that i represent does not.
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you cannot charge a rancher in eastern oregon the same profile basis to drive on a state road to go to a feed store the same as someone that gets on interstate and adds to congestion at rush hour. you'll have to have a fee that varies the location of your vehicle and time of day. i would be the fairest system because of the burdens you are putting on the system, and that raises significant privacy issues -- you are on 205 at this time of day -- that is a concern. host: david, massachusetts. independent line. caller: good morning. it's thank you for taking mike -- thank you for taking my call. first, i heard a debate about the highway trust fund and the highway bill, and i am curious it being a full surface transportation bill that railroads, light rail, heavy rail, and high-speed rail,
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as well as the highways and bridges. also, i totally agree that the gas tax should be indexed up. i think that is something that obviously should have been done, and also agree with many other yourselfand, i think, self, that we would have been far better off doing a mass instead of giving all of the money to wall street. so, i will listen to your answer on, you know, the total over-land transportation idea debate that was held, and the other issues. thank you. guest: well, you know, i do not want to get too much into the weeds, but we do have a system that is not fully integrated, and i think you are getting to that point. right now, the federal gas tax pays for roads, bridges,
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highways, and transit. it does not pay for heavy rail, orwhat is called -- basically where you integrate the rail system into the freight system. we do not have a freight program in america. we need a freight program. that is something this administration has proposed, and ite my other misgivings about their bill, i would give them high marks on that. we need to integrate freight into the system seamlessly and get as much as we can off of the highways onto rail, and where it is coming off rail committee has to get seamlessly back onto trucks and get delivered to its point is that system does not exist today because the gas tax only for roads, bridges, and highways, under eisenhower, and it was actually ronald reagan that added in a share to transit, with about 19%, 20% going to transit now.
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if we looked at a new way of financing, which the administration did put a proposal on the table to have a one-time payment tax reform, talking about paying for high-speed rail and rail integration into the system because they would ring in other than gas tax dollars -- it would be general tax dollars. if you're looking at new sources of revenue the on the user fee -- because the railroads do not pay the gas tax under the current system. now, i have a proposal on the barrel tax where you could include the role roads -- railroads or not. right now, the railroads pay their own tax on diesel fuels that he goes to other areas, but not to the mass transportation system. host: our guest, a member of the transportation infrastructure committee, and a ranking member of the natural resources committee, visited peter defazio of oregon, a democrat from there. a story in "the post" about a climate role for power plants. some of it says from the story
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approach,think of the especially how it might affect our plans? guest: well, we are phasing out our last power coal plant in oregon. we do not look to coal as the future source of energy in this country. i am concerned about climate change, and the largest contributor to co2 in america is -- single contributor, is coal plants, utilities. specially if i lived on the east coast, and our wind, i would probably be even more concerned than i am on a global basis. the alternatives, with fracking now, abundant supplies of natural gas that can cheaply , and i applaudl
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the administration. that is something that i strongly support, republicans can try to preempt it, but it is time to move beyond coal. host: there is a follow-up story looking environmental regulations and how they affect our plans, and it also says that -- that, i cannot tell you. in the west, actually, what we have seen, is they have fired up the gas plant because gas has been so cheap. i have not seen a big run-up in gas prices. maybe in the midwest and other areas they do not have the alternatives the gass-fired electricity. of concernslot about the utility industry. i voted against the deregulation massiveindustry, and a run ups we got from enron, and everything that went on, and i
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say what exactly why there would be a 4% increase unless people are saying they will have to build or cannot convert to gas. i do not know the midwest structure that while. host: bob from chesapeake, virginia, you're up next. republican line. caller: mr. defazio, the biggest problem i see is the corruption from the hole -- highway funds, social engineering with all the light rail, light pass, you name it, but what they need to do is get a value per dollar -- in other words, have a price per mile for what it cost for a person to travel one mile on a highway, a railroad, a light rail, what have you, and then you have the true cost per mile, per person travel on a highway or whatever, and then you know how much each one of these
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transportation methods is going to cost you and in the future the highways was still raining came especially -- will still be the reigning king especially with electric cars, self-driving cars, and highways are going to lead the way. everyone is going to get what they want. guest: ok. well, you know, as i say, somewhere around 19% and 20% of the highway trust fund is spent on mass transit, and if you look at both the economic growth in america, where the jobs are being created in the greatest numbers, population growth in , and that, unfortunately, is very much concentrated around cities and urban areas. yes, i do disagree with those that somehow think we're are going to move beyond highways, especially representing a district like mine, which is about as big as new england, we
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are not. alternative for many places. in urban areas, we are built out on highways, and we have to use a systems that are there more efficiently, and there are ways to do that, -- do that, and secondly, we need to mass transit alternative. you are right, we have to keep an eye on what is the bang for the buck, what kind of return are we getting for these investments? you do not need to build a light-rail project to know where , just like sometimes we do not have to build bridges and highways to know where there needs to be substantial review. we are not have enough money as it is, so let's not waste it as we are trying to rebuild -- first, we have to refill the 20th -- 20th century system and then talk about a more efficient 21st century. host: a viewer is asking about what your thoughts are on polls to help cover costs?
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guest: i brought this up with secretary foxx yesterday. people pay for the infrastructure. what we own -- we own it. some have tried to sell it off to the private sector or release it up, like mitch daniels in tax --, had deal for the bad deal for the taxpayers. what we say is if you want to system,the interstate add new capacity, you can apply for permission to build lanes within the right-of-way of the federal system that would be toll lanes, but you have to get permission to do that, show the public benefit, etc., etc., and .hose can be told the obama administration through the doors open and said you could toll the whole thing if you want, but no, people have already paid for it. we're likely to take tolls on interstate said people have already paid for. i totally disagree with the proliferation of tolling.
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--ela was secretary foxx host: what was secretary foxx's thoughts? guest: he did not say anything. host: market is up next. independent line. california. yourr: thank you for service. i have a question and a comment. when we built the day bridge we -- the bay bridge we outsourced it to china, and it seems like we could apple people back to work in all kinds -- we could have put people back to work in all kinds of industries. overruns, and of course, they would have cost the same on the money if we would have built it here. guest: he pushed a hot button with me. i chaired the committee when it
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first surfaced in california and managed to cleverly get around the prologue -- federal law to it offshore and i had the guy who got the big and, -- did in -- bid in. he was an american guy, setting up a chinese company, and the china bid was 21% cheaper, and under the federal law, they could go to china. i said to the guy, really, this is an innovative new structure, china has a factory that can build the rich beings -- bridge beams? i said they do not, and how will that work, and he said in going to build a factory china but i said what if i kind up build america and you could
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would that, and he said i go in america. 110% right.s inse jobs should have been america. we have the tightest requirements of any program in america. you would be surprised how much of the dod stuff is being made overseas and that is a security threat. we have tightened it up so much and transportation it is hard for anyone to do anything that is not made in america in transportation anymore, but california was the poster child for the last disaster. host: on natural resources, what are your thoughts on that keystone next -- keystone accel pipeline, whether it should be built or not? guest: the canadians are a sovereign nation. . had them in for a discussion
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they are our friends and neighbors, but they are also southern. in this case, they have decided to destroy their boreal forest, which i think is a mistake, to get at a nuclear lead dirty iurce of fuel, and, you know, am not a supporter of that and i'm not want to facilitate that. host: when you think administration will act on that, and what do you think the response will be? guest: i said through, on a very, very hot day at georgetown last summer, the president's air i on climate change was sweating -- change. i was sweating buckets. i cannot tell you. host: romney -- rodney, we are about to go to the house. go right ahead. caller: i have a suggestion and then a question -- my suggestion is since the department of
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justice is collecting this money from wall street, i think it is aliens of dollars, -- billions of dollars, maybe a couple hundred billion dollars, why couldn't congress allocate that money to go toward infrastructure? was hundreds of billions of dollars, i wish some of those crooks on wall street would have gone to jail. it is a few aliens of dollars. to tell the truth, i am not -- billions of dollars. to tell the truth, i am not sure what the destination of that money will be. i would like to make up for the harm the jerks caused on wall street. host: revisited your defazio, democrat of oregon, who is also the ranking member of the natural resources committee. before you leave, before the house comes in, the highway trust fund -- do think anything will happen as far as refunding before the end of summer?
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guest: it has to, or you will actually -- we have had a bunch of phony crises. real jobs will go away. host: represented defazio, thank you. guest: thank you. host: we go to the house. e by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. almighty god of the universe, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we pray for the gift of wisdom to all with great responsibility in this house for the leadership of this nation. as the members disperse to their various districts and our nation enters a week which celebrates memorial day, may we all retreat from the busyness of life to remember our -- business of life to remember our ancestors who served in the armed services. grant that their sacrifice of self and for so many of life
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would inspire all of american citizens to step forward in whatever their path of life to make a positive contribution to the strength of our democracy. bless us this day and every day and may all that is done within these hallowed halls be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo. mr. pompeo: please join me in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? mr. pompeo: request permission
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to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. pompeo: thank you, mr. speaker. what is taking place today in america's veterans administration may be the most egregious case of friendly fire in the history of the united states of america. and this harm to our veterans from our team is coming not from firearms but from an enormous bureaucracy that is incapable of dealing with providing health care to our nation's warriors. it is unacceptable. words alone, mr. president, i have to say are not enough. we need action, not anger. we need results. we need delivery of health care to our warriors now. whether that health care comes from inside the veterans administration or from outside, we need to get folks off our waiting list, out of lines and in to see doctors and folks who are prepared to take care of them. the sacrifices these men and women made are enormous. as a veteran i certainly understand that. as a member of congress i
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understand it is my responsibility to make sure we fix this challenge, this bureaucratic mess that our nation has put these veterans in now for years and years. as we approach memorial day, we need all to take this seriously. i'd urge this house to continue to work to perform its function of oversight and to correct this meese -- this most egregious situation and get the veterans the care they need. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? the gentlewoman from illinois. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it is with great concern with over the kidnapping of over 200 nigerian girls that we pass the national defense authorization act. ms. kelly: the department of defense in consultation with
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the department of state needs to report on the efforts of the search and rescue of the young girls who were abducted in nigeria last month. there is more our government can do to address the threat boko haram poses to international security. by congress knowing more about this terrorist group, their movements, the safety of the girls and what the u.s. and nigerian governments can do to protect these girls and others like them, we will be in beater position to end boko haram's reign of taror. families weep in irge -- reign of terror. families weep in nigeria. i thank the chairman for including my amendment in the en bloc package and urge my colleagues to vote to help bring back our girls. in regards to memorial day, i want to thank those who gave up their tomorrow so we can have today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? the speaker: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute.
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the speaker: today we'll take up the n.s.a. reform bill, and i rise today to thank chairman rogers, chairman goodlatte, mr. conyers and all in a bipartisan way who've come to address this very critical reform at a time when america still is under the threat of terrorism. there's another group of people that i think it's appropriate to thank today, and that's the tens of thousands of federal employees who work for these agencies that go out there every single day to help make america secure and americans secure elsewhere around the world. a job well done. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the united states is currently in negotiations with our p-5
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plus 1 partners over the fate of iran's illicit nuclear program. mr. lowenthal: i'm hopeful but i'm also concerned that this goal may or may not be achieved. as the initial six-month period for negotiations come to an end on july 20, and as we debate the ndaa, it is crucial for congress to speak out on what a good deal with iran would look like. congress must insist that final agreement ensures that tehran has no pathway to a nuclear weapon. as the president and secretary kerry have repeatedly said, no deal is better than a bad deal. any agreement must include an inspection and verification regime that provides for anytime anywhere inspections to ensure that iran is complying with a deal. thank you and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> i request permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. duncan: mr. speaker, the number of veterans has declined by several million in recent years due to deaths and decreases in the numbers of our military. yet, the problems in the v.a. and complaints by veterans about poor treatment and long delays have grown by leaps and bounds. it is definitely not a money problem because no department or agency has received the megabillions and half percentage increases that the congress has given to the v.a. yet, despite years of criticism from members of congress and the media, the problems have grown worse. the only effective solution is competition. i said in a speech to a veterans' group many years ago that eligible veterans should be given a card and allowed to go to any hospital they choose, including those considered to be the best in the nation. and this way v.a. hospitals would be forced to provide better service or congress could and should close the ones very apidly declining and
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low occupancy rates. mr. speaker, our veterans deserve the best medical treatment possible. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. tsongas: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. tsongas: mr. speaker, i rise today in advance of memorial day weekend to recognize the brave men and women of the u.s. air force's escape and evasion society whose bravery and ingenuity in the face of danger is surpassed only by their dedication to this country. formed in 1964, it is an organization created by aircrew members who evaded capture by enemy forces during foreign wars with the assistance of resistance organizations and patriotic nationals of foreign countries. this organization includes downed aircrew members and people who directly aided them in escape and evasion. in recognition of these heroic efforts, i introduced the u.s.
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air force escape and evasion society recognition act of 2014 this week to award this deserving organization the congressional gold medal. awarding this medal will serve to recognize a group of veterans whose names are synonymous with service, selflessly and fortitude. i invite every member of this chamber to join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last night the house passed an amendment encouraging our regional partners and allies to develop an interagency strategy to counter the vicious terror attacks perpetrated by boko haram. mr. franks: boko haram is the terrorist group that recently kidnapped over 300 innocent nigerian girls. mr. speaker, it is impossible for any of us to imagine fear and heartbreak these children and their families are experiencing.
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now, for some time it's been known these groups have extensive links between boko haram and al qaeda affiliates. yet, despite my multiple pleas two years ago to former secretary of state hillary clinton, she would not even consider acknowledging boko haram's religious ideology and list them as a foreign terrorist organization. boko haram is stronger today than ever before. this islamist group continues their rampage of terror because the administration, this administration, as they have so many times before, refused to look at the facts as they were. i hope now we will face boko haram for the terrorist group that it is and defeat it and somehow bring these innocent young girls home. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> well, thank you, mr. speaker. mr. barber: i rise today in strong support of the national defense authorization act,
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which we will vote on today. the act supports a strong national defense and gives our men and women in uniform the tools and resources that they need to do the often dangerous jobs that we ask them to take on. southern arizona is home to the 162nd wing of the air national guard and a strong defense industry, all of which are vital to our nation's security. we are also the proud home of davis air force base and the a-10 thunder bolt. this heavily armed plane we call the warthog may be ugly but it flies low and slow and it provides protection to our troops like no other today. this bill includes a provision i offered with my republican colleagues, representatives hartzler and scott, to keep the a-10 flying. it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the armed services committee. today i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this critical legislation for
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our service members and their families and the security of our nation. mr. chairman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the n.s.a. is out of control. it seizes massive amounts of data on americans without their consent, without their knowledge. this action violates the fourth amendment and the patriot act. the u.s.a. freedom act is supposed to halt these, literally, unwarranted intrusions. the bill, which i am a co-sponsor, passed judiciary committee unanimously. however, this bill that deals with secret surveillance and mischief by the n.s.a. was recently changed at the rules committee. these changes appear to allow multiple interpretations as to what the n.s.a. can and cannot do. the bill now confuses what it intended to make clear. it seems we're back where we
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started. the n.s.a. has shown it will misinterpret the law in a manner most favorable to the seizure by the n.s.a. seizure of information without a warrant. these new changes unfortunately may not adequately solve the problems of spying, surveillance by the n.s.a. on americans and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. garcia: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize national military appreciation month and to honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our military. i'm proud to represent countless inspiring veterans who have served our country and continue to serve in our communities. veterans like carlos cruz, who served in the army during vietnam and regularly volunteers with disabled veterans whenever he's abled. dr. anthony atwood, who served
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in the navy for over 20 years and today works to preserve the history of miami veterans as executive director of the miami military museum and memorial. cliffton riley, an army veteran who served during desert storm and started his own business where he strives to hire veterans. carlos, anthony and cliffton are three examples of the many veterans who remind us of the responsibility to uphold promises we made to our veterans as they have upheld their promises to us. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, seek recognition? mr. goodlatte: pursuant to house resolution 590, i call up h.r. 3361, the usa freedom act and ask for its immediate
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consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 334, h.r. 3361, a bill to reform the authorities of the federal government to require the production of certain business records, conduct electronic surveillance, use pen registers and trap and trace devices, and use other forms of information gathering for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, and criminal purposes, and for other purposes. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and includeheir remarks and extraneous material under h.r. 3361. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. -- pursuant to house resolution 590 in lieu of the amendments in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on the judiciary and permanent select committee on intelligence printed in the bill, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed
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in part b is adopted and the bill as amended is considered as read. the bill shall be debatable for one hour with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on judiciary and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the permanent select committee on intelligence. the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 20 minutes. the gentleman from michigan, mr. rogers, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. ruppersberger, will each control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: pr the founding of the american -- from the founding of the american republic, this country has been engaged in a profound debate about the limits of government. in the federalist papers, the founders argued passionately for a federal government that would protect the american people from foreign threats.
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at the same time, the founders struggled to create a structure to contain and control that government in order to protect the god-given rights of the american people. they carefully crafted the constitution and bill of rights to accomplish these two different yet complementary goals. in essence, this debate has illuminated the exceptionality of the united states. the ceaseless effort to he restrain the reach of government is in our d.n.a. as americans and for 225 years, we have refused to accept the idea that in order to have national security we must sacrifice our personal freedoms. some, however, think these goals are in conflict with one another following last year's unauthorized disclosure of the national security agency's data collection programs operated under the foreign intelligence surveillance act, or fisa. today the house will consider legislation that once again proves that american liberty and security are not mutually exclusive.
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we can protect both american civil liberties and national security without compromising either one. for nearly a year the house judiciary committee as studied this issue in detail. we have held hearings, condulted the obama administration, and worked across bipartisan lines to ensure these programs protect our national security and individual freedoms. this bill, the u.s.a. freedom act, was unanimously approved by both the house judiciary committee and the house permanent select committee on intelligence. the u.s.a. freedom act makes clear that the government cannot indiscriminately acquire americans' call detail records and creates a new narrowly taylored process for the creation -- tailored evered process for these records. this ends bulk collection by keeping americans' phone records in the hands of providers and requiring the government to get the permission of the court to request information from
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providers using a specific selection term in their request to the court. that limits the scope of information collected. for example, the government would have to identify a specific person or account as part of any request for information or tangible things. furthermore, the u.s.a. freedom act bans bulk collection not just for the controversial telephone metadata program but for all of section 215 authorities, as well as n.s.l. letters and pen register trap and trace devices. these limitations will protect americans' records of all types, including medical records, email records, telephone records, and firearms purchase records, among many others. at the same time, the u.s.a. freedom act ensures that the federal government will continue to have the tools it needs to identify and intercept terrorist attacks. the bill preserves the traditional operational use of
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these important authorities by the f.b.i. and other intelligence agencies. it provides needed emergency authority to national security officials if there is an immediate national security threat. but still requires the government to obtain court approval of an application within seven days. the u.s.a. freedom act increases the transparency of our intelligence gathering programs cureo in an amicus the fisa court. this will be chosen from a panel of experts to help ensure the court adequately considers privacy concerns and the constitutional rights of americans when reviewing the government's request for records. it also requires the director of national intelligence and the attorney general to conduct a declassification review of each decision, order, or opinion of the court that includes a significant construction or interpretation of the law, and mandates that the government report the number of orders issued, modified, or denied by
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the court annually. last year's national security leaks have also had a commercial and financial impact on american technology companies that have provided these records. they have experienced backlash from both american and foreign consumers, and have had their competitive standing in the global marketplace damaged. in january of this year, the justice department entered into a settlement with several companies to permit new ways to report data concerning requests for customer information under fisa. the u.s.a. freedom act builds upon this settlement, allowing tech companies to publicly report national security requests from the government to inform their american and foreign customers. from beginning to end, this is a carefully crafted, bipartisan bill. i would like to thank the sponsor of this legislation, crime subcommittee chairman jim sensenbrenner, full committee ranking member john conyers,
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intellectual property subcommittee ranking member gerry nadler, and crime subcommittee ranking member bobby scott, for working together with me on this important bipartisan legislation. i also want to thank the staffs of these members for the many hours, weeks, and months of hard work they put into this effort. furthermore, i would like to thank my staff, caroline lynch, the chief counsel of the crime subcommittee, and sam raymer, for their long hours and steadfast dedication to this legislation. i might add that sam is going to be missed by the committee as he he moves on to take a new responsibility in the private sector, but he wanted to be sure that he could be present today for the passage of this legislation through the house. i thank sam and caroline for their long and dedicated hours put in to making sure that this was a finely crafted piece of legislation. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation, and i reserve the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr.oniers -- mr. conyers: i rise to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the u.s.a. freedom act. the version of the bill pending before us today is not a perfect vehicle. there is more that we can do and must do to ensure as the fourth amendment requires the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. but let me be clear the compromise bill before us today is a significant improvement over the status quo. it is a good bill. now, with this legislation we stand poised to end domestic
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bulk collection across the board. in section 215 of the patriot act and the pen register authority and in the national security letter statutes by requiring the use of a specific selection term. before the government may obtain information or tangible things. this legislation will create a panel of experts from which the foreign intelligence surveillance court can draw expertise and questions involving privacy, civil liberties, and technology. it will also require the court to disclose every significant opinion it issues because in this country there should be no such thing as secret law. and we have accomplished all these things while providing president obama with his
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requested authority for the limited prospective collection of call detail records. any bill we might have offered on this subject would have been imperfect, but we have been careful to include the critical safeguards in this legislation. with the additional reporting, declassification, and transparency requirements laid out in the measure before us, we believe the government would be hard-pressed to attempt to expand its surveillance authorities beyond the narrow intent of this legislation. as the administration stated yesterday in a formal statement of policy, the u.s.a. freedom act prohibits bulk collection. this is our intent. and we will hold the current and future administrations to this
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intent. in closing, i want to thank chairman goodlatte and mr. sensenbrenner of wisconsin, mr. nadler of new york, mr. scott of virginia, for their tireless leadership on this issue. i also want to express appreciation to chairman rogers and ranking member ruppersberger for their willingness to work with us to reach this point. the house is poised to approve the first significant rollback of any aspect of government surveillance since the passage of the foreign intelligence surveillance act in 1978. we must seize this opportunity. so i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3361, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized.
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million goodlatte: i yield myself 15 seconds. i neglected to add another key member of the committee, congressman randy forbes of virginia, a member of the judiciary committee, who has also been a key bipartisan member of this negotiation. at this time it is my pleasure to yield six minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, the chairman of the crime, terrorism, and homeland security investigation subcommittee, and the chief sponsor of this legislation, mr. sensenbrenner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for six minutes. mr. sensenbrenner: i want to thank the house for bringing the u.s.a. freedom act to the floor today. i was the chairman of the judiciary committee on september 11, 2001. in the wake of that tragedy the committee passed the patriot act with unanimous bipartisan support. the bill easily passed in both the house and senate and president george w. bush signed it into law. i believe the patriot act made
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america safer by enhancing the government's ability to find and stop terrorist attacks. we were careful to maintain the civil liberties that distinguished us from our enemies. we are here today because the government misapplied the law and upset the balance between privacy and security that we have thought to preserve 13 years ago. in a feat of legal gymnastics, the administration convinced the fisa court that because some records in the universe of every phone call americans made might be relevant to counterterrorism, the entire universe of calls must be relevant. that decision opened the floodgates to a bulk -- practice of bulk collection that congress never intended when the patriot act was passed. senator leahy and i introduced the u.s.a. freedom act to end bulk collection, increase transparency, and to re-establish a proper balance
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between privacy and security. after months of input and negotiations, and an historic ecoof its vote on the patriot act -- echo of its vote on the patriot act, the judiciary committee unanimously passed the freedom act. the challenge we faced was to draft legislation that was tight ough to avoid abuse, without incringing on intelligence collection. perfect is rarely possible in politics and this bill is no exception. . in order to preserve core operations of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the administration insisted on broadening certain authority and lessening certain restrictions. some of the changes raised justifiable concerns, and i don't blame people for losing trust in their government because the government has violated their trust. let me be clear. i wish this bill did more. to my colleagues who lament the
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changes, i agree with you. the privacy groups who are upset about lost provisions, i share your disappointment. the negotiations for this bill were intense. we have to make compromises, but this bill still does deserve support. don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. the day we have the -- today, we have the opportunity to make a powerful statement. congress does not support bulk collection.
the days of the n.s.a. indiscriminantly vacuuming up more data than it can store will end with the u.s.a. freedom act. after the freedom act passes, we will have a law that expresses congress' unambiguous intent to end bulk collection of americans' data across all surveillance authorities. the bill requires that in addition to existing restrictions, the government must use a specific selection term as the basis for collecting foreign intelligence
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information. and maybe more importantly, after this bill becomes law, we will have critical transparency provisions to ensure that if the government again violates our trust, congress and the public will know about it and will be able to do something about it. the freedom act gives private companies greater discretion that disclose their cooperation with the government. these disclosures gives the companies increased autonomy and will alert the public to
the extent of data collection. the bill also requires public notification of any decision that contains a significant construction of law. expressly, including interpretations of, quote, specific selection term, unquote. this is the end of secret laws. if the administration abuses the intent of the bill, everyone will know. that's why the freedom act will succeed. it bans bulk collection and ensures disclosure of attempts
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to dilute it. today's vote is the first step and not a final step in our efforts to reform surveillance. it gives us the tools to ensure that congress and the public can provide an adequate check on the government. in the post-freedom act world, we have turned the tables on the n.s.a. and to say to them, we are watching you and we will. i want to thank chairman goodlatte, ranking member conyers and congressman scott, nadler, forbes of virginia, for all their hard work. i also want to thank the staff for so many long hours. i cannot overstate the amount tears ective sweat and from carolyn lynch, heather, joe put in this bill. but most of all i want to thank my wife. cheryl has always been the world's largest and loudest advocate for the preservation of civil rights. she encouraged, supported it
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and some might say demand i lead this effort. there's no question that we would not be here today for this historic vote on the u.s.a. freedom act if it weren't for her. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased now to recognize the ranking member of the intellectual properties subcommittee, the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, for 2 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, today we have the first chance in more than a decade to finally place some real limits on the sweeping unwarranted and at times unlawful government surveillance that many of us have fought against for years. first and foremost, and as the administration stated in the statement of administration policy, this will end bulk
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collection under section 215 of the u.s. patriot act and ensure the government will be prohibited from using the national security authority or trap and trace devices for bulk collection. it will not allow a specific selection term, something like a perm pern's name or an account or telephone number as he basis for obtaining information. this will have a reasonable relationship between the particular records and the subjects of the terrorism investigation. i share the concerns that the current definition of specific selection term may still allow overbroad collection, but given the presumptive relevant categories that congress has already identified in section 215 and because the bill will now require participation in the fisa court that can overly ad the law, they can't use a telephone code just because the
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terror suspect might be use a phone in that area code. moreover, to the extent the fisa court ever construes the selection term too broadly, other reforms in the bill will ensure that congress and the american people will know about it immediately and can rein them in. these changes are quite significant as are the new restrictions to the use of fisa section 702 which allows the n.s.a. to target persons located outside of the united states. the u.s.a. freedom act on the floor today certainly does not give us everything we want or need. it is a product of heated negotiations across party lines. it is far from perfect but is an important step forward and we will work to fix remaining problems and strengthen the bill as it moves to the senate. but a no vote on this bill oday may mean no reform at all. this must end. this bill makes critically important changes that we must all support.
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that's why i will vote for it and i will urge everyone else to vote for it. with that i thank congressman sensenbrenner and goodlatte and conyers and scott and forbes and all the staff members who worked on this bill. this is a signal occasion. it's the first real progress we have made. not enough but a really good first step. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you. mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, who's worked so hard on this, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i join the author of the bill, the gentleman from wisconsin, chair of the judiciary committee, subcommittee on crime, mr. sensenbrenner. my colleague from virginia, the chair of the full committee, mr. goodlatte.
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the gentleman from michigan and ranking member, mr. conyers. mr. nadler, my colleague from virginia, mr. forbes, in proposing this amended version of the u.s.a. freedom act. i commend my colleagues for working together to develop a bipartisan approach to addressing some of the shortcomings in our foreign intelligence surveillance statutes. as recent revelations about the way that -- recent revelations about the way some of these statutes have been used have come to light, members of the judiciary committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the statutes, studied the issues, proposed solutions and worked together to find a way forward. we also worked with our colleagues from the intelligence committee to find common ground in order to bring meaningful surveillance bill to the floor today. the bill, as amended, addresses the abuses and answers privacy protections, provides more rigorous review of critical questions of legal interpretation and increases transparency so our citizens will know what is being decided and done in their name.
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while the administration has already indicated that it will change its procedures, to paraphrase president reagan, i think the best course is to trust but codify. while this version of the u.s.a. freedom act does not accomplish all that we had hoped for it, it is in fact a significant step in the right direction. i therefore urge my colleagues to support the legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the time is as follows -- the gentleman from virginia has 7 1/4 minutes left, and the gentleman from michigan has 12 1/2 minutes left. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i'm pleased now to recognize the gentlelady from california two minutes, ms. lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, i certainly respect the role that
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mr. sensenbrenner has played in this and honor him and his wife, cheryl, for their commitment to freedom, but i must oppose the freedom act that's on the floor today. this is not the bill that was reported out of the judiciary committee unanimously. i voted for that bill, not because it was perfect but because it was a step in the right direction. after the bill was reported out, changes were made without the knowledge of the committee members, and i think the result
is a bill that actually will not end bulk collections, regretfully. as mr. scott has said, our job is not to trust but to codify, and if you take a look at the selection changes made in the bill, it would allow for bulk collection should the n.s.a. do so. further, i would note that the transparency provisions have also been weakened. the 702 section would no longer
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be reportable by companies who receive orders, and instead of the attorney general noting decisions that change the law, it's now sent over to the director of national intelligence. regrettably, we have learned that if we leave any ambiguity in law, the intelligence agency will run a truck right through that ambiguity. i think that's why all the civil liberties groups have withdrawn their support from c.d.t., open technology. i would add freedom works and other libry tarian groups have also -- libritarian groups have also pulled their support. companies like facebook and google have pulled their support of the bill. now, i hope that we will defeat this bill and come back together, because we do work together well here in the judiciary committee, and fix the problems that were created.
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i think at the insistence of the administration and give honor to mr. sensenbrenner's original bill that had 151 members co-sponsoring it. and with that i see that my time has expired and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: simply to point out two things. first off, as the gentleman from wisconsin has noted, this legislation is an effort to ring together widely points of view of how to maximize our national security and our civil liberties and there are those outside groups that were just referenced who would like to see more than the language that they were able to obtain in this bill. but i think it's very important for everyone to know that while those groups, some groups have
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withdrawn their support for the bill, they do not oppose the bill. and that is a very important distinction for members to understand. mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, a member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for two minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chairman of the judiciary committee for yielding to me and i also want to thank the efforts of the judiciary committee and the select committee on intelligence for the broad and intense work they've done on this bill. the u.s.a. freedom act starts with the right concept and that is that the civil liberties of americans were under risk even though we have very few examples of people being victimized by it. there's not a level of comfort in this country. and so the move to block the federal government from storing metadata and still allowing for them to be able to set up under
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a fisa warrant a query through privately held data is the right way to go. it's a conclusion i drew early on in the many hearings i've been to, both classified and unclassified hearings. i quizzed the witnesses. i put my mark down on those committee hearings, but what happened was the process moved quickly and over a weekend there was an intense job to write a bill that turned into a substitute amendment and a debate in the judiciary committee referred over to select committee on intel, both committees acted quickly. i offered an amendment before the judiciary committee. it was voted on, but i have to say that in my opinion it was not considered in the fashion that would have allowed for the full judgment of the judiciary committee to weigh in. my amendment is set up that allows for the intelligence community to negotiate with the telecoms, the telecommunication providers for a period of time longer than required by the f.c.c. i think it's not possible for
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anyone who supports this bill to argue that it makes us safer. it protects our civil liberties more, but there's a window beyond the f.c.c. requirements that i'd like to see available than something on a voluntary basis. so i want to come here to this floor and put my marker down on that concern so we should not sacrifice the security in america and we should protect the civil liberties of americans. we can do that at the same time. i think this bill falls somewhat short, although the underlying concept of the bill i do support. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize a very active member on judiciary committee, sheila jackson lee of texas, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. and i thank the ranking and the chairman for this work and mr.
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sensenbrenner, who we have worked with from the beginning of the first stages of the patriot act when the judiciary committee passed it out after that terrible and heinous act of terror, bipartisan. unfortunately it was changed. today i want to announce that megadata collection as we know it has ended. that is a major tribute to the american people. and the judiciary committee and intelligence committee heard them. more importantly the intelligence committee and judiciary committee stand united. can we do more? should there have been an open rule or a number of amendments that may have wanted to be in? yes. i believe in participatory democracy, but today we end bulk collection on the patriot act section 215. we can always do better. today we prevent the bulk collection under fisa pen register, and to the american people we increase the transparency. let me make it very clear, when we first discussed and debated
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the patriot act, reverse targeting to me was heinous. it means that it captured and innocent person as we were looking for someone who happened to be a terrorist. today in this bill we have any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are determined to be located in the united states and prohibit the use of any discreet communication that is determined to be to or from a united states person or a person who appears to be located in the united states except to protect against an immediate threat to harm. it is eliminated. reverse targeting is no longer. in addition, i introduced a bill some time ago called the fisa court and sunshine act of 2013. in that bill it required the attorney general to disclose each decision, order, or opinion of the fisa court allowing americans to know how broad of a legal authority the government is claiming under the patriot act. and the foreign intelligence surveillance act to conduct surveillance to keep americans safe. i am pleased that in section 402
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and 604 of the us freedom act it requires the attorney general to conduct a declassification review of each decision, order, or opinion. it opens it up to the american people. that includes a significant construction of interpretation of the law and submit to congress within 45 days. mr. conyers: i yield the gentlelady 30 additional seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. as indicated the bill specifically contains an explicit prohibition on bulk collection of tangible things pursuant to section 215. the freedom act provides that section 215 may be used only where specific selection and term is provided. as the basis for the production of tangible things. clearly we worked very hard to ontain what was an ame ba -- amoeba that would not end. as i indicated on section 301 was included as it was in my
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amendment in h. 3773. let me conclude, mr. speaker, by simply saying the bill of right lives. the bill of right is for the american people, both the right to freedom, both the right in essence to privacy, and our respect for the gathering of intelligence to protect us from terrorists. this bill, the freedom act u.s.a., is, indeed, an enormous step forward. let's work together to move us even more, but today we end megadata collecting as we know it. mr. speaker, i believe we have made a giant step forward for civil liberties, respect on the integrity of the american people and their right to freedom, and as well for the protecting of all of us from terror. with that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: at this time it's my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. holding, a member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. holding: mr. speaker, on wednesday the state department
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acknowledged that terrorist attacks worldwide have increased by more than 43% last year, killing nearly 18,000 people. mr. speaker,ed odds are rising we will be hit here in the united states. that's why a balanced legislation that protects civil liberties and keeps americans safe is so important. and the u.s.a. freedom act does just that. i rise in support of the passage of the u.s.a. freedom act. bipartisan legislation that reforms our intelligence gathering programs while importantly preserving operational capabilities that protect national security. this legislation will make sure that americans are protected at a time when the world is a more dangerous place than when the patriot act itself was enacted in the law. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from california, mr.
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honda, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. honda: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to add my thanks to the work that has been done up to now. i became an original co-sponsor of the u.s.a. freedom act because i was disturbed by the revelations about surveillance programs. the bill is a good step toward balancing security and privacy. but this amendment does not. it leaves opened the possibility that bulk surveillance could
still continue. and it no longer protects the public through the fisa court. i'm disappointed that this popular, bipartisan bill has been so drastically weakened and i can no longer support it. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves.
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the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize the gentleman from new jersey, mr. hold, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. r. hold: i thank the gentleman -- mr. holt: i thank the gentleman. and i recognize the work that mr. goodlatte, mr. conyers, and others have put into this. but it still falls woefully short. this legislation still allows the government to collect
everything they want against americans. to treat americans as suspects first and citizens second. it still allows decision abouts whom to target and how aggressively to go after acquaintances of acquaintances of targets to be made by mid level employees, not federal judges. most important, the fundamental decisions under this will be made by a -- against a weak and inferior standard that does not reach probable cause. so that the government can spy on people based on weak
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suspicions and not on legally established probable cause. now, my friends say don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. the perfect, how could anyone here vote for legislation that doesn't uphold the constitutional standard of probable cause? probable cause has been well established in law for two centuries to keep americans secure by keeping intelligence and enforcement officers focused on real threats. not on vague suspicions or wild
goose chases. a decade ago there was a major change in the relationship between americans and their government. this bill does not correct it. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. does the gentleman from virginia continue to reserve? mr. goodlatte: at this time i yield myself one minute to respond to the gentleman from new jersey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. goodlatte: a number of the things the gentleman has stated are not accurate. first of all the selectors all
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have to be approved by court order. secondly, it's important for everyone to understand that the information gathered is targeted to foreign nationals not to american citizens. thirdly, the increased transparency that's created by this legislation, both in the fisa court itself and with the fact that the data is now going to be required to be retained by the companies that own the data and not held by the government, provides extra assurance that if some kind of massive data collection grab were attempted by the government, it would be exposed as mr. nadler pointed out earlier. and finally, the special selectors' language that was carefully worked out in a bipartisan manner, carefully limits the ability of people to gather data. it has to be based upon discreet requests, and discretion has meaning in the law.
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it has to be limited to identifiable persons and things. and it has to be done in such a way that the court approves it. i would be happy to yield. mr. holt: why not -- mr. goodlatte: i yield myself 30 seconds. mr. holt: is it not correct that this bill does not invoke the probable cause standard? mr. goodlatte: this is not a search under the fourth amendment and probable cause has never applied. the gentleman is attempting to change the law if he thinks that -- mr. holt: would the gentleman yield further? mr. goodlatte: i would yield further. mr. holt: does any american doesn't think this is a search? mr. goodlatte: reclaiming my time. mr. speaker, reclaiming my time. when it comes to gathering information about foreign nationals who are deemed to pose a national security threat to the united states, the fourth amendment does not apply.
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and a court must still order the particular selectors that are used. the gentleman's characterization is inaccurate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. i am yers: mr. speaker, going to yield an additional minute to mr. nadler of new york. a member -- senior member of the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. i have heard arguments against this bill and all of them amount to one argument. the bill doesn't go far enough. i agree. it doesn't. but it is rarely a good argument against a bill to say it doesn't go far enough if it goes a long way towards solving a real problem. this bill will end bulk collection. it will end it under section 215. it will end it under pen trace and track, it will end it under n.s.l.s. without this bill. and i hope it passes in the
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senate, we'll have no chance to end bulk collection, and the current framework which allows the dragnet surveillance of our citizens will continue. i wish this bill were stronger. but what we are able to get now, it's a major step forward and not to pass this bill now would say to the n.s.a. continue what you are doing. we are placing no restrictions on you beyond what the law already has. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan continues to reserve. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia continues to reserve. the gentleman from michigan is ecognized. mr. conyers: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: rather just a minute instead of such time as i may consume. i wanted to take this opportunity to thank staff on both sides of the aisle for the
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hard work that went into drafting the bill and the many compromises that were reached when we went into the final product. in addition to carolyn lynch and am raymer, with chairman goodlatte, bart forsyth with mr. ensenbrenner, our own staff, erin, heather, all deserve appropriate credit and praise for the many late nights and long weekends that they spent working on the public's behalf on this critical legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman wish to continue to reserve? mr. conyers: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time i have only one speaker remaining and would be
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prepared to close our portion of the remarks if the gentleman is prepared to do so. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. i yield myself an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute. mr. conquears -- mr. conyers: it's to clarify the term specific selection term, because the definition of specific selection term that appears in the compromise bill isn't perfect, but the u.s.a. freedom act still ends bulk collection. that's why we are here. under the act the government may not obtain information or tangible things under section 215, the fisa pen register authority or the national security letter statutes without using a, quote, specific
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selection term, end quotation, as the basis for production. critics are correct, this is not as clean or straightforward as the definition approved by both -- by the intelligence committees and judiciary. nothing in the definition explicitly prohibits the government's -- the government from using a very broad selection term like area code 202 or the entire eastern seaboard. . but that concern is largely theoretical. the type of collection is not likely to be of use to the government. ms. lofgren: if the gentleman will yield? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman wish to reserve? the gentleman reserves. the gentleman fr